Remember Trump’s appointees — Pruitt, Zinke, and the rest? Here’s where they went afterwards.
Trump’s environmental appointees were a motley crew, many lacking in relevant expertise; others with shaky ethical standards. While in office, they were daily sources of torment for environmentalists. Where are they now? For most, being in the cabinet has been a stepping stone to nowhere. Here’s the Trump crew and their last known whereabouts. David …CONTINUE READING
Provision in big climate bill that mandates oil and gas leasing on federal lands has limited reach
The big news in climate policy this past week was Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) signing off on a deal with the Democratic Senate Majority leader, Chuck Schumer, to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on climate investments – the bill is catchily called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. I’ll take a look at the …CONTINUE READING
Understanding the Property Clause’s location in Article IV clarifies the power of Congress and the federal government to protect public lands
In my previous blog post, I discussed how the location of the Property Clause in Article IV can help answer key debates about congressional versus executive power under the Clause, as well as federal versus state power under the Clause. Here I want to draw on the principles I developed in the prior blog post: …CONTINUE READING
How “horizontal federalism” can help us understand federal power over the public lands
Can the President unilaterally end fossil fuel leasing on federal lands? Or does this policy decision require Congressional intervention? Can the President unilaterally terminate existing National Monuments that protect federal public lands from development? Or does this policy decision also require Congressional intervention? Does federal law preempt state law on federal lands? Or does the …CONTINUE READING
New book on history of federal public lands is an essential contribution
America’s public lands are a national, and even international, treasure. Over a quarter of the United States is owned and managed by the federal government. Public lands provide recreational opportunities for all Americans. They provide valuable habitat for species and ecosystems. They provide important natural resources, such as timber and minerals, that are both important …CONTINUE READING
The Ninth Circuit rules on the preclusive effect of a CRA disapproval in a wilderness protection case.
Soon after Trump took office, Republicans used the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn sixteen Obama-era regulations. If they win control of the government in 2024, they’ll undoubtedly do the same thing to Biden regulations. It behooves us, then, to understand the effect of these legislative interventions. A Ninth Circuit ruling last week in a …CONTINUE READING
In a forgotten incident, Congress set aside Hot Springs in 190 years ago.
The origins of the national park system is usually traced back Lincoln’s 1864 signature of the Yosemite Grant Act. But Congress had actually had the idea of protecting extraordinary places over thirty years earlier, in Arkansas of all places. Hot Springs isn’t high on the list of American places to see, which may be one …CONTINUE READING
Yellowstone–the World’s First National Park–Created 150 Years Ago
American author, historian and conservationist Wallace Stegner once observed: “National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than at our worst.” More recently, Ken Burns channeled Stegner in titling Burns’ award-winning PBS documentary, “The National Parks–America’s Best Idea.” The National Park System …CONTINUE READING
by Lidia Cano Pecharroman, Christopher Williams, Nell Green Nylen, and Michael Kiparsky
Green infrastructure is increasingly emphasized as an alternative, novel path for water infrastructure. The possibilities are intriguing: Can we transition from a landscape dominated by siloed grey infrastructure (think concrete and steel, constructed for one or a few key outcomes like water supply or flood control) to one that centers natural processes in water infrastructure …CONTINUE READING
How do we manage the local environmental impacts of the energy transition?
Just before leaving office, the Trump Administration approved a huge lithium mine in Thacker Pass, Nevada. The mine could help supply the U.S. battery industry for decades. It might also impact habitat of the endangered grouse sage, deplete groundwater levels, and threaten the survival of an endangered trout. Local residents have sued to block the …CONTINUE READING